Last week, CMF and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) launched a training series on congressional work-life as part of the "Life in Congress" research project. These programs are focused on enhancing staff's professional and personal lives by exploring options for more flexible workplaces.
The first program, "The Flexible Work Place: What is It and How It Can Work in Your Office," began with CMF President and CEO Brad Fitch, who presented results from the CMF-SHRM survey of more than 1,400 congressional staff. This inside look at the workloads of House and Senate employees revealed that many staffers have difficulty in managing the multiple demands of work, family and personal responsibilities.
For example, the research found that congressional staff value flexibility to balance life and work issues, but fewer than one in four is satisfied with the flexibility afforded to them. Additionally, more than one-third of respondents suggested they might leave Congress "to seek better balance between work and personal life." If congressional work-life is a problem, what is the solution?
To answer this question, Brad was joined by Lisa Horn, Director of Congressional Affairs at SHRM and the Co-Leader of SHRM's Workplace Flexibility Initiative. Lisa provided an overview of "workflex" and discussed the findings from the 2014 National Study of Employers, including the most common obstacles to implementing workflex, as well as the benefits received by employers and employees for doing so, such as reduced turnover and increased productivity.
CMF and SHRM plan to address the obstacles to workplace flexibility in more detail in upcoming programs (dates/times TBD), with an increased focus on learning from House and Senate managers who have successfully implemented various policies and practices in their offices (e.g., flex time, telework, etc.). More information on the July 21 program can be found in the presentation slides: